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Women directors make history at the Ariel Awards

Andrea Cabrera

For the first time since the institution of the Ariel Awards by the Mexican Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1946, women dominate the nominations for Best Director. Although this is not the first time that this category has had a majority of women - in 2018 Issa López, Lucía Gajá and Natalia Beristáin were three of the five nominees - this year the positions have been completely reversed, as Alejandro González Iñárritu is the only man in the list.

Of the 219 nominees for best director from 1945 to 2022, only 23 have been women, and of the 64 editions of the award, only twice women have won the award: Tatiana Huezo in 2017 for Tempestad and Fernanda Valadez for Sin señas particulares in 2021.

This year, Natalia Beristáin (Ruido, 2022) and Alejandra Márquez Abella (El norte sobre el vacío, 2022) obtained their second nomination, while Michelle Garza Cervera (Huesera, 2022) and Lucía Puenzo  (La caída, 2022) appear in this category for the first time.

Michelle Garza Cervera

Michelle Garza

Film director and screenwriter graduated from the Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica (CCC), with a master's in Film Directing from Goldsmiths, University of London, UK. His short films have been selected in dozens of international festivals. His debut feature film Huesera premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival 2022, where it won the Best New Narrative Director and Nora Ephron Awards. In the 20th edition of the Morelia International Film Festival (FICM), Huesera won the Audience Award for Mexican Fiction Feature Film.

Natalia Beristáin Egurrola

Natalia Beristain

Mexican film director graduated from the Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica (CCC). She has participated as cast director, executive producer and assistant director in several projects. In 2012, she received the award for Best Mexican Feature Film at FICM for her debut film No quiero dormir sola.

Alejandra Márquez Abella

Alejandra Marquez Abella

Mexican film director and screenwriter graduated from the Centro de Estudios Cinematográficos in Barcelona, Spain. In 2018, she presented her second film Las niñas bien, with which she won the award for Best Ibero-American Film at the 2019 Málaga Film Festival, and nominations in the categories of Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Film at the 2019 Ariel Awards. In 2022, she released El norte sobre el vacío, a film that won the award for Best Fiction Feature Film at the 20th FICM.

Lucía Puenzo

Lucía Puenzo

Argentine film writer, director and screenwriter, who also works in executive production and research. In 2007, she directed her first film, XXY, with which she won more than 20 international awards, including the Grand Prix of the Critics' Week at the Cannes Film Festival that year. The film was nominated for the Goya Awards and won the Ariel for best Ibero-American film in 2008.

Women Ariel nominees for Best Director throughout history

  • Marcela Fernández Violante was the first woman nominated for her film De todos modos Juan te llamas in 1976 and in 1981 she received her second nomination for Misterio.
  • María Novaro was the second woman nominated in 1992 for Danzón and in 1995 she also received a nomination for El jardín del edén.
  • In 1993, Dana Rotberg was nominated for  Ángel de fuego.
  • Guita Schyfter, earned a nomination for Novia que te vea in 1994.
  • Maryse Sistach was nominated in 2001 for Perfume de Violetas.
  • Lydia Zimmermann was nominated in 2003 for Aro Tolbukhin.
  • Mariana Chenillo received a nomination in 2010 for Cinco días sin Nora.
  • Paula Markovitch was nominated in 2013 for El premio.
  • Claudia Sainte-Luce was nominated in 2014 for Los insólitos peces gato.
  • Tatiana Huezo is the first female winner of the award for her 2017 film Tempestad.
  • In 2017, Mitzi Vanessa Arreola was nominated for La 4a compañía.
  • Issa Lopez, Lucía Gajá and Natalia Beristáin were nominated in 2018 for Vuelven, Batallas íntimas, and Los adioses, respectively.
  • In 2019, Alejandra Márquez Abella for Las niñas bien and Lila Avilés for La camarista were nominated.
  • Kenya Márquez was nominated in 2020 for Asfixia.
  • In 2021, Fernanda Valadez became the second female winner for Best Director for her film Sin señas particulares. That same year Yulene Olaizola was also nominated for Selva Trágica.
  • In 2022,  Ángeles Cruz for Nudo Mixteco and Tatiana Huezo for Noche de fuego were nominated.
  • The historic 2023 brings together Natalia Beristáin (Ruido), Alejandra Márquez Abella (El norte sobre el vacío), Michelle Garza Cervera (Huesera) and Lucía Puenzo (La caída) in the Best Director category.